SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

The Law and Politics of State Violence: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

Course Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

This half-unit course running in Term 2 seeks to critically engage with the relationship between law and state violence. How do states (ab)use law and violence? What do these often taken-for-granted terms – ‘law’ and ‘violence’ – even mean? What is the importance of (in)visibility and representation for tackling these questions? Are certain manifestations of state violence exceptional, or do they represent the political and legal norm? These and other questions will be examined contextually, through case studies ranging from U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Israeli rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Method of assessment

Assessment is 80% coursework (two 3000 word essays), 10% seminar presentation, and 10% seminar participation. Coursework may be resubmitted.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules